How Donald Trump could impact 2022 Michigan elections

A former leader of the Republican Party in Michigan says former President Donald Trump has a grip on the GOP, but it could be tearing the Republican Party apart.

After Trump-backed Republicans were selected by GOP delegates for the election this fall, Jeff Timmer with the Lincoln Project says Trump is running the Michigan Republican Party - and not in a good way.

"It's really a response to the character of cancer that has manifested in the part," Timmer said. "The cancer has won. It's time for hospice."

Trump has endorsed at least ten candidates running for the Michigan House. His allies — attorney general candidate Matthew DePerno, a lawyer, and Secretary of State candidate Kristina Karamo, a community college instructor — emerged victorious from three-person fields at the 10-hour "endorsement" convention in downtown Grand Rapids.

Now some deep-pocket money sources in the state party - including the Betsey DeVos family - are funding legislative candidates to defeat the Trump wing of the party.

Timmer now works for the Lincoln Project which is filled with detractors of the GOP who threw support behind Joe Biden during the 2020 election.  He said the big donors and businesses who are contributing need to make their voices heard.

"They really need to say no more. If they really stand by that, they can't pretend that these re-animated, zombie Republicans are worth supporting," Timmer said. "I don't think you build winning coalitions, and you certainly don't build winning political parties, on lies, on fantasies, on delusion, and on insanity. You don't build it on corruption and chaos and that's what they're doing."

Some of the GOP's biggest donors, led by Betsey DeVos, are putting their money into legislative candidates not endorsed by Trump. GOP Rep. Matt Hall supports the former president and says he is concerned about this effort to foster an anti-Trump attitude.

"We can't get pigeon-holed in some kind of a Trump vs. anti-Trump situation here because the truth is, most Republicans support Trump," Hall said.

Additionally, he says Timmer has been wrong about Trump in the past.

"He said Trump could not win Michigan in 2016 and Trump did. So I don't put a lot of stock in the things he says about this issue. I think that we're going to win in Michigan this year," Hall said.

The question of whether Trump is a plus or a minus on GOP election chances will be one that will be answered later this year.